Towards the Business Case for Sustainable Hotels in Asia 2010
By Horwath HTL on September 6, 2012
This landmark report, undertaken cooperatively by HICAP, WWF and Horwath HTL, capitalizes on three years of submissions for the HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards, which recognize the range of sustainability best practices emerging in the hotel sector in Asia and highlight the link between such practices and business/financial performance. The case studies included in the report are drawn from a range of operations – large and small, city and resort, mainstream and niche, from across the Asia Pacific region and provide an insight into the motivation for, and impact of more sustainable practices. The intention in drawing these case studies together is to provide examples of what can be achieved, to encourage and inspire others, and set a benchmark for further reviews.
The hotels included in the report were selected on the basis they have invested time and resources in developing a “sustainability offer” generating business benefits. Some of these benefits are difficult to quantify (particularly social and biodiversity focused activities), but nonetheless are part of the value proposition of each case study.
Sustainability means many things to many people, complicating the challenge undertaken in producing the report. Over recent years there has inevitably been a focus on financial sustainability – as the sector struggles with the implications of a global recession. For the purposes of the report, the sustainability definition adopted encompasses financial performance (without net profit nothing much is going to last), but also looks specifically at the environmental and social performance of these operations.
In relation to environmental and social performance, hotels were examined in the ways they go beyond the requirements set by local and national governments, and in particular how they address social and environmental externalities – those aspects of a business’ operation which aren’t generally captured in annual accounts (such as training, community outreach and protection of biodiversity), but which seem to be at the cutting edge of many sustainability commitments and activities.
Looking to the future it seems likely today’s externalities will increasingly become aspects of a more regulated business environment for hotels (for example commitments to a low carbon economy will inevitably result in greater regulation at some stage), and thus the good practices demonstrated in this report, may become the business norms of the near future. As such, the report hopefully will serve as guidance, and help to inform the wider hotel sector in the region.
Please click the following link to download a copy of the report: